By Murtala Muhammad
Stakeholders in the health sector have emphasised the need for people to ensure personal and environmental hygiene as well as taking the right medication as major ways towards tackling Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
They made the emphasis at an event to celebrate this year’s World NTDs Day withe the theme theme this year, “Achieving Health Equity to End the Neglect of Poverty Related Diseases”, organized by the Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency with support from an NGO Mission To Save The Helpless (MITOSATH) held at Tashan Durumi village in Toro Local Government Area of the state.
The NTDs Include Bilharzia, Schistosomiasis, River Blindness, Lymphatic Philariasis, Brulli Ulcer, Snake and Dog bites Guinea Worm among others.
The World NTDs Day is celebrated annually on the 30th January.
The NTDs State Coordinator, Nasiru Haruna Baba said the essence of the event was to sensitise people on preventive measures against the diseases in view of the fact that nineteen out of twenty local government areas of the state were hit by different forms of the diseases.
The Federal Ministry of Health, North East Zonal Coordinator of NTDs, Hauwa Abubakar said the diseases were preventable if certain measures such as use of right medication, ensuring personal and environmental hygiene were observed.
She said the burden of NTDs in the state was high, hence the need for the government to come up with a policy and inject adequate funds to arrest the problem and ensure sustainability of NGOs’ interventions.
Also speaking, a lecturer with Microbiology Department, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University ATBU Bauchi, Dr. Mahmud Yarima Iliyasu who spoke extensively on Onchocerchiasis also known as River Blindness urged people to always ensure clean environment and personal hygiene.
The State Lead of MITOSATH Mrs Njioma Esther Nbuko said they had facilitated over one hundred and thirty surgeries in the state for people with one NTD or the other and assured their continued collaboration with the state government towards fighting NTDs.
Representative of the District Head of Jama’a Alhaji Hashimu Dori said the sensitisation was apt in view of the threat being posed by NTDs and appreciated the state government and MITOSATH for choosing the community to celebrate this year’s World NTD Day.
Meanwhile, the Executive Chairman State Primary Health Care Development Agency BSPHCDA Dr Rilwanu Mohammed during a news briefing on World NTD Day said Governor Bala Mohammed’s administration has demonstrated interest towards fighting NTDs where an approval of release of nine million naira was secure for the completion of a hospital for the treatment of snake bite at Duguri, Alkaleri LGA as part of measures towards addressing the problem.
He added government would not relent in its effort of protecting the lives of its people as well as improving their health status.